Dear friend in Christ,

            I am writing this letter the day after the tragedy at Oxford High School.  My heart (as I am sure yours does too) goes out to that entire community as our prayers ascend for Jesus come to them with his comfort, peace, and hope.  Surely not only Christmas, but life itself has been altered for many by this sad event.

            Fortunately, even in the midst of tragedy, the Christmas message remains true and sure.  God himself, in the person of Jesus, has come into our world with the very things we all need – comfort, peace, and hope.  It is because of Christmas we know that our prayers and actions will make a difference.  While laws and human compassion never can fully overcome the hurts and fears that haunt us, the Child of the manger and his Gospel can.

            Christmas, in other words, is why we do what we do here at Saint Thomas Lutheran. Through all that we do, we are sharing with needy people (like you and me, and the community of Oxford) the one Word that can truly change lives for the better – the Good News of Jesus coming to “bind up the brokenhearted, … to comfort all who mourn, … and to replace ashes with beauty and praise.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

            I thank God for your fellowship in the Gospel and your part in this ministry.  To make a special offering that will make a difference in the lives of many please go to  May his blessings be yours in the final days of this year and in the years to come.

Yours in Christ,

Mark W. Hetzner, Pastor

Christmas 2021